Serena employees connect on ‘Facebook Fridays’

Serena Software hopes sanctioned social networking will boost productivity, moraleand Web 2.0 savvy.

Remember when Ethernet inventor and 3Com founder Bob Metcalfe predicted that the Internet would “catastrophically collapse” in 1996?

Yeah, well, these days, some CEOs cower from social media, hoping or even believing (incorrectly, as it happens) that “it’ll pass.”

Serena Software CEO Jeremy Burton, meanwhile, is encouraging his more than 800 employees to use social networking tools to connect not just with each other—but also with their family members and friends.

A couple months ago, Burton—a self-described Facebook fanatic with nearly 1,000 Facebook friends—took his love for the tool to a whole new level by instituting “Facebook Fridays” at his San Mateo, Calif.-based software company.

Every Friday, employees in 18 countries around the globe are given an hour of personal time to spend on their Facebook profiles and to connect with anyone they want.

In fact, Burton went so far as to make Facebook his company’s intranet—a place where employees can find everything from a list of company holidays to the CEO’s favorite movie.

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